Who is killing Honduran media workers?

By Dean Graber

Tim Padgett reports in Time Magazine that two gunmen opened fire on Lucas Manzanares, a close aide to the publisher of one of Honduras’ leading newspapers, sparing him and his wife, who were driving in his pickup truck, but killing his daughter and granddaughter.

The attack May 8 made Manzanares the eighth journalism-related target attacked in nearly as many weeks in Honduras, Padgett says. “Since March 1, seven journalists have been murdered in much the same execution style that Manzanares' attackers attempted,” Padgett says. “Many fear their deaths may signal a new, more violent chapter in the Honduran political crisis, which began after last summer's military coup and has since caused the U.S. a raft of diplomatic headaches in Latin America.

The administration of President Porfirio Lobo has denied that freedom of expression is under threat in Honduras, and journalists are putting their faith in bulletproof vests, social networks, and God. “Press advocates are hoping that this week's establishment of an independent, Lobo-backed Truth & Reconciliation Commission to examine the coup will move the government to take the journalist homicides more seriously,” Padgett says.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.